November 25, 2014
Landscape care

To help you gain the most from your new landscape planting, proper maintenance and care is required. The following basics will help keep your garden in tip-top shape throughout the season.

Correct watering is the most crucial ingredient in proper plant care. As a general rule, watering of new plants should be done no more than once every seven to 10 days, depending on weather conditions. Larger trees can be watered less often, (every 12 to 15 days) providing ample water each time. A preferred method is to let the hose trickle for one or two hours at the base of a tree into a "saucer" of earth. Remember — more new plants die of overwatering than any other single cause.

Most first-year pruning is done before you receive your plants. The best time to trim evergreens is in the spring (mid-May to mid-June) while plants are in a period of active growth. Besides providing the desired shape, this also encourages new growth. A second trimming can be done in the fall (late August through early October) to give plants the extra protection they will require against winter kill, as well as help to guard against snow and ice damage. (See pruning sheet #5 for proper pruning techniques).

Feeding new plants is most important. We recommend an initial transplant fertilizer with rooting hormone to stimulate new root growth, and a general fertilizer such as 20-20-20 on a year-round basis for all plant material at least once every six to eight weeks, up until early August. This encourages new root and foliage growth on all types of plants, plus new flowers on flowering plants.

Fertilizing a new lawn will require a starter formulation such as 8-32-16. Once the roots have developed and can seek out phosphorous in the soil, the Lawn Care Sector Group of Landscape Ontario recommends using a phosphorus-free fertilizer.